Many individuals and news agencies have been attacking Pope Benedict XVI recently over his treatment of the child sexual abuse scandals. While I'm not surprised when people attack the Catholic Church, I am surprised by Catholics that leave or threaten to leave the Church over the scandal.
I firmly believe that the Pope did the best he could to handle the situation given the information he had at his disposal at the time, but even if he didn't handle the situation properly, it doesn't mean the entire Catholic religion is false. People who leave the Catholic faith because of the sins priests commit lack an understanding of the nature of the Church.
The Catholic Church is composed of human beings. The only human beings that were without sin is Jesus Christ, and his mother Mary. All others sin. That includes priests, bishops, archbishops, and even the Pope. The apostle Peter sinned when he denied Christ three times.
When members of the Catholic clergy sin, it doesn't mean the Catholic religion is false. It means that the church is made up of imperfect, sinful human beings. In spite of sin, the teachings of the church remain true. When people leave the Catholic Church over the child sexual abuse scandals, I'd like to ask them what church they switch to. Any church that is made up of sinful human beings is susceptible to this problem.
Being a Catholic isn't easy because of the strict moral guidelines Catholics are expected to follow. Many Catholics don't want to follow these guidelines, and look for excuses to leave the Catholic faith. It wouldn't surprise me if many of the people that leave the Catholic Church over the child sexual abuse scandal are using the scandal as an excuse to leave the Church.